Taste of Spring
The latest and greatest taste of Spring in the Finger Lakes will begin in earnest today.
Clouds and a couple of isolated showers linger across the region this morning. However, skies to the west are clear and the sunshine should increase through the day. A shower will remain possible, even as skies begin to clear, but most areas will stay dry today.
Temperatures are starting the day anywhere from the upper 30s to the low and mid 40s. South winds at the surface and westerly winds aloft will pump warm air into the region from the south and west.
Many places should rise to 60 degrees today, with a large chunk of the Finger Lakes even exceeding 60 degrees slightly. For most areas, today’s temperatures will be shy of the daily records.
Record highs are more likely to fall on Thursday and Friday. A few places, including Ithaca, may even challenge their all-time February record high temperatures. Ithaca’s mark currently sits at 67 degrees, set in 1997.
Mid and upper 60s are likely on Thursday. Skies will be mostly cloudy, but some breaks of sun are possible. A few showers will arrive late in the day.
Friday remains a bit less certain as a batch of rain moves through during the morning hours. If the rain lingers long enough, temperatures could be prevented from getting too warm. it is more likely, however, that sun breaks out in the afternoon and warm air floods in. A few places may even flirt with 70 degrees on Friday if everything comes together perfectly.
Saturday- A Day of Change
Everything will change on Saturday as a powerful cold front blasts through the region.
Current projections have this front crossing the Finger Lakes during the midday and early afternoon hours.
A band of rain and wind may develop along the front. This band could even have some thunder and lightning in it. Exactly how strong the winds get is still a bit uncertain, but gusts over 50 mph are currently in the realm of possibilities.
Temperatures will rapidly fall behind this front, dropping from the 60s to the 40s in less than an hour. By the evening hours, some snow may be mixing in with the rain over higher elevations, and lake effect snow showers may be possible on Sunday.
Temperatures may have one or two more brief spikes in early March, depending on storm tracks, but the trend is for cooler than normal weather by the middle of the month.
Warm Weather Not All Good
While many of us will certainly enjoy this early spring warmth, the news is not all good.
With three days of 60 degree weather, and more recent warm weather, there is concern about how plants and animals will react to the sudden warmth.
While not nearly as drastic as the mid-March heat in 2012, when temperatures were in the 70s and 80s for the better part of two straight weeks, this warm up may be significant enough to start waking certain species.
If you are negatively impacted by this or previous early warm spells, let me know in the comments. I would like to know more about how much warm weather is too much, too soon.